Browsing articles from "July, 2011"
Jul 29, 2011

Tour: A Kitchen of My Own

Ever since I was little, I loved to cook. I was the one in the kitchen with my parents helping them prep. I even cooked for my siblings even though I was the youngest! I’ve cooked in a lot of kitchens, but never my own. So needless to say when Jared and I moved into our first home together and I got my first kitchen, I was the happiest girl in the world. My kitchen is my home because cooking makes me happy.

Our kitchen is actually designed very nicely. There is no wasted space. Every space was thought through and utilized since it’s not a very big kitchen. As you see in the photos, the kitchen is a little messy. It’s a very slow process furnishing and decorating our house, that will come in time. So please pardon the mess.

Here’s the entrance to the kitchen. The black and white checkered floor is the first thing we noticed when we first looked at the house.

And there she is, my beautiful black & white kitchen. Refinished original white cabinets, black appliances and chrome/silver accents. I absolutely felt in love with the layout and space. It’s the perfect size for Jared and I. And it’s even more perfect for food photography! I have a total of three windows that let in natural light. You can’t see the third, but this is ideal for taking photos of my recipes. Couldn’t be happier about that.

As you go in, to the right is our stove. It’s a relatively newer stove and it’s great. It heats up pretty fast. Right above the stove, the house came with a shelf where I’ve placed just a few things such as our salt and pepper shakers, olive oil, balsamic and our cocktail shaker. You know, stuff we use all the time ;)

There isn’t a lot of cabinet space in our kitchen, so space is limited for our dinnerware and glassware.

Our sink is amazing. The sink is deep and the faucet is Moen and has a pulldown faucet head. Best thing ever.

Thank goodness we have a walk-in pantry because there would be no way we could fit everything in our cabinets. As you see, it’s a little messy. I still need to organize all of our wedding gifts we received! Seriously, it’s a mess!

Here’s a peek into our refrigerator. Right now, there’s a lot of vegetables and alcohol. Haha! Kinda weird combination, but we had beer leftover from my beer tasting party and my parents gave us a lot of vegetables from their garden last weekend.

Green tomatoes? Oh yes. I’m making fried green tomatoes tonight for dinner. If they turn out well, you’ll see the recipe on Pretty Tasty Things.

Our crispers are filled with fresh veggies! We have onions, lemons, herbs, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli and more hidden beneath.

Our freezer which is completely empty except for some frozen meals, ice cream, frozen veggies and meat.

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Jul 27, 2011

“Let’s Feather their Nest” Baby Shower

Here’s a creative idea for a baby shower that incorporates both the mom- and dad-to-be. Let me present you with a “Let’s Feather their Nest” baby shower created by twin sisters, Amber Karson and Emily Butler of Amber Karson Events. I sometimes feel that dads-to-be get a little shafted during all the excitement and celebration of a new baby. Shouldn’t they be showered with love and gifts, too!? Call it non-traditional, but I would love a baby shower filled with guests of both guys and gals that are special in our lives. And that’s why I love this baby shower. The space is contemporary, the pops of color are vibrant, yet the details still keep it a little feminine. Take a look at all the beautiful images and become inspired for your next baby shower or event bridal shower event!

The invitation sets the mood for the “Let’s Feather their Nest” baby shower.

The baby shower event took place at Fathom Gallery in Washington D.C., a former-auto-garage-turned-mixed-use gallery space. Guests arrived at the gallery and were escorted upstairs to the open loft space. I love art galleries. The space is wide open for possibilities and creativity.

Look at this tablescape! It’s done very classy and simple. There’s not too much going on, which is good. Sometimes I feel some events tend to overdue it on the tablescape. You’re more focused on the decoration than the actual event. The table is adorned with ornate birdcages filled with flowers as center pieces with brightly colored feathers and ribbons on the turquoise chairs.

Here’s a closer look at the adorable napkins that continued the birdcage theme. They were placed on top of the stark white dinner plates while the brunch menu card laid on top. All the colors popped against the white tablecloth!

How fun is this? A guest book wall where guests left the parents-to-be special messages using a dry-erase pen on the gallery’s super cool cabinetry. To keep these special messages, just take photos of each message.

Lovely parents-to-be on the left with their delicious  soft white buttercream cake with a white chocolate bird’s nest as the topper.

Look at the little faux bird eggs!

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Jul 26, 2011

Recipe for: Homemade Guacamole

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes
about 2 cups

One of my favorite things to make is guacamole. Why? Because it’s the easiest thing to whip up for a crowd. You don’t even have to “cook” or “bake” anything. It’s just prepping a few fresh ingredients and ultimately combining everything into a bowl. And there you go, guacamole ready in just a few minutes!

My version is fairly simple and mild. You can certainly add different seasonings if you like a little kick such as chili or cayenne. You can even add garlic or dice up a few tomatoes, if you’d like. However, my recipe is straight forward, yet still very tasty. The ingredients provide some texture against such a delicate and creamy fruit. I promise you, this will be your go-to recipe for guacamole. So enjoy!

3 hass avocados
1/2 cup diced red onions (about 1/2 a red onion)
1/2 cup diced cilantro
1/3 cup jalapenos (about 2 jalapenos)
1/8 cup lime/lemon juice (about 1/2 a lime & 1/2 a lemon)
salt & pepper to taste

1. Dice the ingredients. Slice in half a red onion and remove the outer layer. Dice into little cubes. Rinse and pat dry the cilantro and jalapenos. Dice them as well. Be sure when dicing the jalapenos to not touch your eyes. It’ll sting! Set these ingredients aside in a small bowl.

2. Squeeze the lemon/lime. I like the combo of both lime and lemon in my guacamole. I do use a little more lime though. Taking 1/2 a lime and 1/2 a lemon, squeeze into a measuring cup. It’s roughly an 1/8 of a cup.

3. Scoop the avocado into a bowl. To remove the avocado from the skin, take a paring knife and slice the avocado in half. Gently stab the large seed with the paring knife and gently twist outward to remove the seed. Then take a spoon to scoop the avocado from the skin. Repeat this step for all three avocados.

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Jul 22, 2011

A Beer Tasting Birthday Party!

This past weekend I celebrated a birthday. Yes, I’m now 28. I’m nearing closer and closer to being 30, but let me tell you that I still feel and act like I’m 21. Yes, I’ve grown up a bit. I’ve gotten married and even purchased our first home, but the party shouldn’t end there. I still love to have a good time. For this particular birthday, we decided to invite some friends and family over for a BEER TASTING. Seriously, the best idea ever. Not only were people required to bring 2-3 bottles of one type of beer of their choice to share and taste, but there were leftovers for us at the end of the night! Score!

So this is how it went, everyone placed their bottles of beer in a large plastic tub full of ice. We’d select the a beer and pour a little sampling in everyone’s individual plastic cups. Everyone drank it whether they enjoyed it or not, but it was pretty cool to taste some new beers. We repeated this process with most of the beers people brought. If you can imagine, we probably tasted over 20 different kinds. So by the end of the night, I was definitely a little tipsy. Rightfully so.

Unfortunately, because of the amount of fun that was had during the beer tastings, I neglected to take any photos of the people actually tasting the beer. Haha. But here’s are some polaroids and photos I was able to take at the end of the night.

This is my joy—the Fujifilm Instax Mini. I love this little thing. Thank you Fuji for continuing the life of a polaroid. I purchased mine through Ebay along with the film about one year ago. But it seems more readily available anywhere online. Do some research. You can find it on B&H for only $67 or through Amazon for the same amount. The polaroid size for the Instax Mini is about the size of a credit card. I just love the instant film.

Here are a few photos of our friends and family that came to the beer tasting! I just wanted to thank you all for coming. It was a great night with some great people at our new casa. I hope you had a great time because I certainly did! We’ll have to do it again soon!

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Jul 20, 2011

Recipe for: Hummus without Tahini?!

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Dave Lieberman (adapted slightly)
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
2 cups

Is it possible to make hummus without one of its’ main ingredients…tahini? YES! It is possible and just as delicious. I’d love to take credit for this dish, but it’s a recipe from Dave Lieberman with some minor changes along the way. We made this hummus for my birthday/beer tasting party this past weekend for the very first time. We decided we probably should  feed our guests since there would be a lot of beer consumption, so we decided to made some good snacks including hummus from scratch. By the end of the night, the hummus was devoured! Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take step-by-step photos since things were a little crazy that day, but this recipe is SO easy that you probably don’t need it!

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 to 15 grinds black pepper
1/3 cup water

Paprika, for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

5 pita breads cut into triangles
1 bag of pita chips
1 cup of feta cheese
1 large cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved and seasoned with olive oil, salt + pepper

1. Blend all the ingredients.
In a blender, add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, sesame oil, cumin and water. Blend until the texture is smooth. Blending the ingredients together took some time. You’ll need to continuously pulse and push down the mixture to get everything nicely combined. You’ll definitely need to drizzle a few more tablespoons of olive oil and a touch of water too. This will help move the process along.

2. Place in a bowl & serve. Scoop the hummus into a nice serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with chopped parsley. Along with the hummus, serve with pita bread and pita chips, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes and feta. But you can certainly serve it with any of your favorite condiments! Enjoy!

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